Attrition: Middle Aged Recruits


June 27, 2006: The U.S. Army just raised the maximum age for new recruits from 40 to 42. This is expected to bring in, at most, a few hundred additional recruits a year. The army needs about 80,000 new recruits each year. In last year's U.S. defense budget Congress allowed the Department of Defense to accept recruits as old as 42 (the previous maximum was 35). Since 911, there have been thousands of older men, and women, wanting to enlist. Earlier this year, the army raised the maximum age to 40, and since then has brought in 1,065 new recruits older than 35. However, 65 percent of those older recruits were for reserve units. The older recruits have to meet the same physical and mental standards as do 18 year olds. Advances in medicine and physical training technology has produced a lot of very fit 40 year olds, and most of them are not professional baseball players.


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